Following the escalation in farmers-herders’ clashes across the country, which have resulted in the loss of lives and property and also heighten tension, the federal government has launched what it calls “Agro rangers” to help contain the trend.
The agro rangers are made up primarily of operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). About 2,500 personnel of NSCDC have been deployed in the programme in the first instance.
Speaking in Minna weekend at the launch of the Niger State wing of the organisation, the Assistant Commandant General of the NSCDC, Mr Adamu Soja, said the agro rangers would be responsible for the protection of cattle colonies, grazing reserves and ranches where applicable.
Soja also said that the scheme would forestall persistent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
“This federal government programme is aimed at protecting and securing the ranches, animals, grazing reserves due to the economic diversification scheme from oil to the agricultural and mining sector so as to give local and foreign investors the enabling environment to do their business
“The NSCDC is saddled with the responsibility of securing and protecting grazing reserves, ranches and colonies where applicable in all the states of the federation but will not protect criminals.”
Soja stressed that the idea behind the setting up of agro rangers would be strictly adhered to, assuring potential farmers in crops, animal production fishery to request security, saying that such requests must follow due process, adding that there would be no financial implication.
The ACG said the organisation was partnering with the Nigeria Cattle Breeders Association but would not compromise the security of lives and property of law abiding cattle breeders in the discharge of their assignment.
Adamu therefore urged the public to give information to security operatives so as to build a more virile, peaceful and conducive society.
The Niger State Commandant, Mr Philip Ayuba, in his address, applauded the initiative of the federal government which he said was aimed at ensuring peaceful coexistence especially with the current decimal of herders-farmers’ clashes in most parts of the country.
Ayuba was optimistic that the officers selected for the agro rangers from the command would deliver better results without compromising the security of the state and the country.